Cole County set to hear budget proposals

1 month 2 weeks 2 days ago Monday, December 04 2017 Dec 4, 2017 Monday, December 04, 2017 4:25:00 PM CST December 04, 2017 in News
By: By Adam Duxter, KOMU 8 Reporter
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JEFFERSON CITY - For Cole County Auditor Kristen Berhorst, Tuesday is the day where three months of hard work finally pays off. 

Berhorst, who is responsible for putting together the budget for Cole County, has been collecting and compiling data since August. During Tuesday's county commissioner meeting, she will finally present that information. 

Cole County will have over 80 million dollars to distribute in 2018. Berhorst says large portions of this are going toward capital requests.

In Jefferson City, a new county health department building will open next year, which will cost $1.5 million.

Road projects will take between six and eight million of the budget.

The county plans to spend another $20 million on personnel services.

At Tuesday's hearing, agencies can make their case for how much they should receive. 

"At this point there might be something that I took out of the budget that they want to fight for, or they can come back and ask for something that's changed since they put the request in," said Berhorst. 

While Cole County has seen steady growth in recent years, the popularity of online shopping has caused the sales tax revenue to drop, leading to a smaller pie to be sliced up and handed out. 

"The biggest thing this year is that our sales tax revenue is down. We've seen a couple of good years of sales tax, and this year it's really flat, it's decreased the last few months. We're more constricted with our expenditures," said Berhorst.

With a smaller pie, the commission says it's been careful with decided who gets what. 

"We are very careful about how we spend the taxpayer's money, and we don't spend money we don't have. To a certain extent, if we're not sure on something, we might say we're not going to put this in the budget right now," said Sam Bushman, the county commissioner.

The meeting will begin at 8 a.m. and is set to finish at 4:30 p.m.

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